Slut: it ain’t about the numbers

From a facebook posting.

slut

The person in this image has misrepresented the sense of of the word slut. She elides the sense that the word slut indicates many partners. Do you call your grandmother, who has had an active sex life with her husband for 60 years as a slut because she’s had a lot of sex? No.

Slut refers to someone who engages in sex indiscriminately with many and any partners,  as someone who lacks discrimination, sound judgment in their choice of sexual partners. The same term is applied to men, and is as much of an insult.

For better or for worse, the quantity of people that one has sex with is used as a factor to assess of how well the individual discriminates. With quantity comes a question of the individual’s judgment, and, those who might be considering having sex with a given person consider their personal risk factors: “Do they use a condom every time? I want to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, and there possibility of a lack of discipline may be indicated.” “If such a person sleeps with so many others, what will others think of me, who presumably knows of their lack of discrimination?”

And of course, all of this touches on our instinctive response to tie sexuality to morality and countless generations where fertility control was not available. The issue is significantly deeper than just pointing a finger and saying “Bad person called her a bad name.”

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14 thoughts on “Slut: it ain’t about the numbers

  1. Tarnished says:

    I agree with your definition, Francis. But other men in the manosphere seem to not. The rather idiotic phrase “a key that opens many locks is a master key, but a lock that opens for any key is a crappy lock”is oft-repeated. I understand that it is generally easier for women to find sexual partners than men, but to me a slut is a slut…A woman *or* man who sleeps around indiscriminately and reduces sex to nothing more than fucking. It has been shown in study after study that people of both sexes who had above-average numbers of partners tend to cheat during their marriages at a higher rate than those who had fewer.

    Some men have tried to put me up on a pedestal, simply because I have only had 1 partner in my life thus far. Likewise, they’ve tried to say that my FwB is an “alpha playa” because he’s had 12, not including me. But I don’t sleep around because I’m a “good woman”…it’s because I’m demisexual and casual sex doesn’t appeal to me. My lover isn’t a “playa”…only 2 of those women were ONS, all the others were girlfriends. He’s also 46, so it’s not as though he hasn’t had a while to find those 12 women.

    • Francis Roy says:

      A woman *or* man who sleeps around indiscriminately and reduces sex to nothing more than fucking.

      You might have glossed over this bit “Slut refers to someone who engages in sex indiscriminately with many and any partners, as someone who lacks discrimination, sound judgment in their choice of sexual partners. The same term is applied to men, and is as much of an insult.”

      Turns out that I was just banned from the facebook group “Exposing Men’s Rights Activism” for daring to make polite, cogent points that were completely antithetical to the “bash an MRA bastard theme” for saying the above.

      • Tarnished says:

        Are you surprised? You went against the pre-approved statement of what slut hood is. Obviously you were engaging in patriarchal oppression measures, tearing down women and their search for unrepressed* sexuality.

        I’d wager it turned into a…shrewfest.
        (Lying in wait for Spawny to comment and see how I successfully used my Word of the Day.)

        *[Francis’ edit to match Tarn’s later correction.]

      • Francis Roy says:

        Actually, no. Few people had time to respond before I was booted out.

      • Tarnished says:

        Typical…Get rid of the opposition, no matter how polite or rational, before they infect anyone else with stray thoughts of real equality. For what it is worth, I’m sorry that happened to you.

      • Francis Roy says:

        The expression “shit happens” comes to mind :)

    • Spawny Get says:

      I don’t mind your definition of slut being applied equally to men and women, Tarn. But you’re going to have a tough time shaming non-PC men for the term. Whereas women do seem to feel the impact of the term (otherwise, why the huge fuss over slutshaming? because it works/causes discomfort to most women)

      Men are hunters for sex (N => effective hunter / attractive male).
      Women are choosers (N => not very selective / low standards).
      (same as your lock analogy, basically)

      As I said, I don’t have any problem with you applying the term equally but the stats show that high N is a stronger indicator of marriage failure in women than men. Bonding issue? Not knowing any better? Men ‘settling’ for real vs women settling for now? I don’t know, I’m speculating on why the stats say what they do say.

      I can see the desire for equality (fine with that) I just insist that we note that at the statistical level, it seems that the reality is that the effects of N differ. I’m fine with idealism as a concept, I just insist that we recognise those times when deeply wired biology gives said idealism a poor prospect of becoming an outcome.

      AFAIAC every woman is perfectly entitled to insist on only marrying a virgin, in exactly the same way that a man is entitled to do. The difference is that stats show that the man is making a choice that will indeed markedly improve the chances of the marriage working, whereas a woman is making a small improvement.

      Of course both such male and female will have to find a virgin if they’re set on marriage…that’s an even bigger reality spanner in the works.

      • Spawny Get says:

        I might add that I had friends of old that felt validated by sleeping with ONS women. I disagreed with them. AFAICS they’re emotionally confusing a woman saying she’ll be a partner in producing a baby with a lifetime commitment from her with woman saying he’ll do for a shag (she might want a relationship, but she sure isn’t making any effort to ensure one before the act).

      • Francis Roy says:

        Spawny said

        AFAIAC every woman is perfectly entitled to insist on only marrying a virgin, in exactly the same way that a man is entitled to do.

        I’ll side with Billy Connolly on this one: “53 virgins? It’s not a present, it’s not a prize! It’s a punishment! Give me two fire-breathing whores any day of the week!”

      • Francis Roy says:

        Hey Spawny, do you know your way around statistics? Are you the guy that can understand and explain statistical lingo?

      • Spawny Get says:

        Not man expert, no. I’d like to think I can follow an analysis. Dalrock and The Social Pathologist are the guys I trust to be objective and correct…and even acknowledge errors when found.

      • Spawny Get says:

        The virgin thing is about the probability that the marriage lasts. As you say, there are other factors of potential personal relevance and preference. ;)

      • Tarnished says:

        Spawny,

        Really quick: I wouldn’t really try to shame anyone, even if I disapprove of their numbers. For example, one of my 23 year old male coworkers says he’s had 84 partners and started having sex when he was 12 (willingly)…all of us at work, including him, joke that he is a man-whore. Honestly, I think whether someone will cheat or not depends more on the depths of theor past sexual encounters.

        Were they all during a relationship? Sharing intimacy and sex is a natural product of love for another, so I wouldn’t judge a man/woman harshly if they’re, say, 30 and have had 15 partners all within committed relationships.

        Were they all ONS?
        I’d judge a man/woman more if they said each of their 15 partners were meaningless one-nighters. Not only did they put themselves more at risk for an STD, but as I said above it seems like they are reducing sex to “just fucking”. I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t mess up the way your body handles oxytocin.

        At least the person who had 15 partners all in various relationships would have probably loved most if not all their lovers. The bonding chemicals would be working around the mental concept of “I desire this person emotionally and physically”. Even if the relationship doesn’t last, at least the oxytocin is released in a pair bonding moment. I’d trust a man/woman like this to stay loyal in a marriage all things considered.

        On the other hand, someone who gets a rush of oxytocin after having sex with a partner they’ll never see again is doing themselves a huge disfavor. Maybe not the first time, or even the fourth, but after training their brain that “this pair bonding chemical doesn’t mean anything”, I don’t believe they will be physically capable of fully loving a marriage partner. This is just my opinion, but I think it makes sense given what we know about sex and bonding.

        Unfortunately, the studies I’ve read only talk about partner count and don’t mention length of past relationships. I’d be curious to see if my hypothesis is correct…

  2. Tarnished says:

    **unrepressed, not unrepresented.
    Geez…

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